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Published On: Fri, Mar 16th, 2012

Currency Management in India

What is the role of the Reserve Bank of India in currency management?

The Reserve Bank derives its role in currency management from the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.The Reserve Bank manages currency in India. The Government, on the advice of the Reserve Bank, decides on various denominations of banknotes to be issued. The Reserve Bank also co-ordinates with the Government in the designing of banknotes, including the security features. The Reserve Bank estimates the quantity of banknotes that are likely to be needed denomination-wise and accordingly, places indent with the various printing presses. Banknotes received from banks and currency chests are examined and those fit for circulation are reissued and the others (soiled and mutilated) are destroyed so as to maintain the quality of banknotes in circulation.

What is the role of Government of India?

In terms of Section 25 of RBI Act, 1934 the design of banknotes is required to be approved by the Central Government on the recommendations of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India. The responsibility for coinage vests with the Government of India on the basis of the Coinage Act, 1906 as amended from time to time. The Government of India also attends to the designing and minting of coins in various denominations.

Who decides on the volume and value of banknotes to be printed and on what basis?

The Reserve Bank decides the volume and value of banknotes to be printed each year. The quantum of banknotes that needs to be printed, broadly depends on the requirement for meeting the demand for banknotes due to inflation, GDP growth, replacement of soiled banknotes and reserve stock requirements.

Who decides on the quantity of coins to be minted?

The Government of India decides the quantity of coins to be minted on the basis of indents received from the Reserve Bank.

How does the Reserve Bank estimate the demand for banknotes?

The Reserve Bank estimates the demand for banknotes on the basis of the growth rate of the economy, the replacement demand and reserve stock requirements by using statistical models/techniques.

How does the Reserve Bank reach the currency to people?

The Reserve Bank presently manages the currency operations through its 18 Issue offices located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Belapur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kanpur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram, one sub-office at Lucknow, a currency chest at Kochi and a wide net work of currency chests. These offices receive fresh banknotes from the banknote printing presses. The Issue Offices of RBI send fresh banknote remittances to the designated branches of commercial banks.

The Reserve Bank offices located at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi (Mint linked Offices) initially receive the coins from the mints. These offices then send them to the other offices of the Reserve Bank. The banknotes and rupee coins are stocked at the currency chests and small coins at the small coin depots. The bank branches receive the banknotes and coins from the Currency Chests and Small Coin Depots for further distribution among the public

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